I could have bounced to the ceiling when I was asked if I wanted to write a review of a product from http://www.hobbycraft.co.uk/ they’re the epicentre of everything that is crafty, in the UK, and a company I was thoroughly excited to be able to try out something from their range of fun crafting things for children.
There were, almost definitely, things on the list of things available to chose from which were more age appropriate for Ethan but there was one item that just jumped out at me as something which would suit us just Perfectly and that was the ‘It’s My Life: Scrapbook Kit’* by Faber Castell. My Mum makes, and fills, scrapbooks as part of her crafting hobby and I do digital scrapbooking so I knew Ethan would love to join in and do something that both Mummy and Grandma already do.
I was instantly impressed with the kit when I took a good look at the box and saw quite how much was included in the box – 12 page book, 10 sheets of patterned paper, 50+ vellum stickers, stencils, scallop edged scissors, 2 mini envelopes, pen, photo safe glue stick, instructions plus a mini keychain scrapbook. Having some knowledge of scrapbooking I really was impressed that they’d given a really good selection of scaled down, child friendly version items inside the set.
There was, though, one glaringly obvious thing when looking at the box and that was that the kit has been aimed at girls, which may make you wonder why I’m trialling it with my son. All of the photos on the outside are of girls and the stationary is all very flowery with the stickers containing captions like ‘Girly girl’ and ‘Diva’ – As it happens, though, I would hope that most parents would be able to look past this because, crafting is for both boys and girls and why can’t boys enjoy making a book! Regardless of who it’s aimed for, I’m going to show you how it works for a boy, and Nothing detracts from the impressive quality of the kit so who cares who it’s meant to be for!
As you may know if you know us, or if you’ve read past posts, Ethan is a big fan of pink, and flowers, and butterflies so all of those parts of the stickers and the papers were perfectly exciting to him but I did think I’d add in some of his own stickers to the mix. To be honest that could be a nice added touch for a boy or a girl, something which is even more personal to them; though I’d definitely still say to use the stickers that come with the set as they are Very good quality and the vellum means they work beautifully with the set.
Some quick photos of what’s included, for you. The quality really is lovely and it’s just so fun and exciting for children of all ages – Ethan loved looking at the stickers, they really captured his eye (that said, so did everything else in the set!)
Before we even opened the box Ethan and I sat down at the laptop to order him some photos to go in to his scrap book – I think it was such a lovely thing to do together, we went through loads of photos and had a giggle at them and decided which ones were special and which he’d like to put in his ‘special scrap book’. So our first job, once we’d got everything out, was to decide which photo would go in the cute little frame/window in the front of the book and which ones would go on our first page!
Ethan has some very good taste in papers and he chose a beautiful pink, embossed paper to make his first page. I used normal, straight scissors to cut the photos down to size and then Ethan was incredibly excited to help me, with the scallop edged scissors, cut the paper down to turn it in to a background for the photos – The scissors worked really nicely though would probably have been even easier to use without an almost-4-year-old hanging off them; but he Really enjoyed doing that part, it’s something he loves.
He also did the majority of the sticking, I made sure it went up to the edges but he slathered the paper and the photos in Plenty of glue as we didn’t want them going anywhere! Mummy helped him decide the position of the photos and he helped me to press them all down, Gently!
At this point Ethan wanted to be in another photo – That was him doing a ‘normal face’! He was having So much fun, though, he really loved doing this together and I explained to him that this would be a special book for us to add to over the future and for him to look back on when he gets bigger. I really do love the idea of doing something like this with our children, something we can make together and something that’ll be so special to them when they grow up – Ethan may be a bit young for the intended age range but he did enjoy joining in and I think it’s something we can keep adding to as time goes on, I’m so so glad we’ve started it – Photos are really important and in an age when we have everything digitally it’s amazing to have a reason to print them out and keep them somewhere really special.
Ethan chose some stickers to add to it, which really finished the page off. You can see how good quality the vellum ones are, and the fact that they’re transparent means that they work really well within this context. The example pages on the box are much more accomplished than what we made but with Ethan being so little I didn’t want to get too intricate, hopefully as he gets bigger we can do pages with more detail – That said we used almost all aspects of the set even for just this simple page!
Oh, and this gem just Had to go in to the little framed area in the front of the book – I love this idea, a fantastic way of personalising the book. It also says you can use the items from the kit to add to the outside, too, so I think that’ll be another project for the future.
If you want to do something crafty but not horrendously messy with your little ones, something that has a really nice meaning behind it and something that you can make last a really long time, then this kit is perfect. Obviously this would also work for older kids who want to do it on their own, this really would be a fabulous gift (I’m thinking of recommending it to my Mum for my step-cousin as I think she’d love it) – For £17 I think it’s a really good price, considering how much you’ll get from it. And don’t let the fact that it looks like it’s specifically for girls, put you off, I saw past that and I am glad – This kit would be lovely to share with your son too (as long as he’s not had his friends condition him to ‘eww that’s for girls!)
I’m thrilled we have this kit, this will be an ongoing project for Ethan and I to share and a lovely way to store some memories for him as he gets bigger.
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*If the wording isn’t obvious I got sent this for the purpose of the review – That said, everything I’ve written is totally honest*